Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Let them eat cake!

Last night, our friend, J, invited us to join other friends of hers to celebrate her 60th birthday. It was an honor and a delight to join the group of people in celebrating this lovely woman. J, as expected, had quite an array of people. From the Master Gardener, who also played chef, to former and current co-workers to her contacts via the Sufi community, there were many diverse and interesting conversations to be had. When it came time to sit for dinner, Shawn and I chose our places early though we were among the last to fill our plates. We found ourselves surrounded by progressives and leftists sharing political discussions. I relished this, but Shawn drifted off to another conversation taking place at the other end of the table.

J looked pleased with her evening. She was glowing and trying to spend time with everyone conversing and catching up. Her partner was jovial. He also tried to speak with everyone and he ran around taking pictures.

Everyone was asked to wear a name badge as a conversation starter. In addition to the name, the badge read "A friend from..." and the wearer filled it in. I wrote, "Life" which seemed to please/amuse J's partner but stumped others.

As part of our reply to the eVite, Shawn asked J if there was anything we could bring to her party. For the second time this year we were asked to bring cake for dessert. J suggested some sort of low glycemic level goat cheese cheese cake (she doesn't allow much cow dairy in her diet, nor much sugar). Our cheesecake pan leaks and the last one Shawn tried to make didn't turn out (I've never made one). We thought that this was a bit out of our league for the moment. After doing some searching around the Internet, Shawn came up with a recipe for a Ginger cake made with sorghum as the primary sweetener (we used Sucanat as well). We chose to put the cake(s) (plural as we made 2 to accomodate the 30 guests) into a Bundt pan (a rosette pattern) and to top the cake(s) with edible flowers. J's chef/gardener/friend supplied freshly whipped, organic cream and strawberries to top the pieces. We only have one Bundt pan so I baked the second cake yesterday afternoon before the party. I also put together a pear-maple and rosemary clafouti. Both desserts were big hits. J said that she wouldn't trust anyone else to do the desserts - very kind words indeed.

The funny/odd thing about this episode is that this is the second time this year that a friend has asked us to bake a cake for dessert for their birthday. Why is this funny/odd? For myself, I have not until this year made a cake in my adult life. Shawn's made a couple of cakes over the last couple of years, but also for birthdays. We never make a cake for ourselves and never have it around the house. Bravo to our friends for forcing us out of our comfort zone and making us be creative!

It was great seeing J again and sharing her birthday. Now that school is coming to an end for Shawn, I hope we'll see more of J and her partner. We had a great time last night.


Scott said...

Want to make a couple cakes for my birthday?

B.D. said...

LOL! Sure. What kind and when?

Scott said...

Well gee, the ginger and goat cheese both sound great. I even have a new tort pan. I wouldn't even expect delivery. ;)